Setting goals is always a good idea, goals give us something to work toward, they provide us with checkpoints to show that we are progressing, and progress keeps us motivated. However, having goals is only the first stage of the process, there is even more preparation to be done to give yourself the best chance to maintain the discipline to reach your goals. Motivation is only a small part of what we need when it comes to reaching our goals, and that is because we won’t have motivation every day to work toward them, so instead we need to build discipline and a detailed plan as to how we intend to reach them.
Here are five tips that can help you achieve any of your goals:
1. Be realistic
If you aren’t realistic in the goals that you want to reach then any health, lifestyle or career changes have very little chance in happening, that is not to say to set easy and low-effort goals, but be realistic. Take a good look at your goals and ensure that it is something attainable, if not amend them, otherwise you are setting yourself up for failure and disappointment and this is something that will make us lose motivation.
2. Make smaller goals
Of course, when we have our “end” goals, we also need to make smaller targets that we can reach and these smaller targets will help us in measuring our progress. When writing out your goals make sure that they are SMART goals (Specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely).
3. Reward Success
Remember to reward your successes, your milestones and when you reach any checkpoint goals. This isn’t to say if you have had a good week of keeping to a nutrition plan you should treat yourself with a binge, no, try to reward your successes with something you enjoy- a treat. Go to the cinema and see a movie, buy a new outfit, have a massage, get your hair done, etc. Whatever makes you feel good but won’t sabotage your goals.
4. Be Prepared for Lapses
There are going to be obstacles and setbacks on any journey we decide to take and that includes on our journeys toward reaching our goals. A lapse is only temporary, but this is normal when working toward any goal and therefore it is important that you prepare for these lapses and recognise them when they happen. Every week, day and hour is a chance to start over fresh, so jump back on the wagon as soon as you can, and don’t use a lapse to quit on your goals.
5. Take one day at a time
Always stay in the present, of course you want to plan out your goals but once you have planned these, ensure you focus on the 24 hours in front of you. Stay in the present. If you get into the habit of thinking too far into the future this can make reaching your goals feel like an endless chore, instead of a fun journey. It is about the journey, not the destination.